Only 10 players have been able to reach NBA finals five straight seasons or more. LeBron James and James Jones are the only two players in modern era to achieve the feat, all of the other players were the members of Boston Celtics dynasty of 50s and 60s.
The record for most back to back final appearances by an NBA player is 10 consecutive appearances which is owned by Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell. Let’s have a look at NBA players with most consecutive NBA final appearances.
Bill Russell – 10
Bill Russell is the only player in the history of NBA to reach 10 consecutive NBA finals. Russell made ten straight final appearances from 1957 through 1966 and ended up winning them all. Overall, he led Boston Celtics to 11 NBA finals.
The record no longer seems quite as unbreakable and could be eclipsed in foreseeable future but it would definitely be hard to break.
Sam Jones – 9
Sam Jones made 9 straight final appearances in 1950s and 60s. Known for his great shooting skills, Jones was the part of a Boston Celtics squad that won 8 consecutive championships from 1959 to 1966. He also won 10 championships during his twelve year career, most by any NBA player after teammate Bill Russell.
Tom Heinsohn – 9
Tom Heinsohn is the only player other than Sam Jones to make 9 consecutive NBA final appearances. Heinsohn played his entire professional career for Boston Celtics and won eight NBA championships with them. He played a major role in Boston Celtics dynasty during 50s and 60s.
Frank Ramsey – 8
Frank Ramsey was a key member of the Boston Celtics that won seven NBA titles, including six in a row between 1959 and 1964. Ramsey was the first official ‘sixth man’ of NBA history who used to come off the bench and contributed to his team’s success.
K.C. Jones – 8
K.C. Jones reached eight straight finals from 1959 to 1966 and won them all. Only two players in NBA history have won more championships than K.C. Jones and they are former teammates Bill Russell and Sam Jones.
Bob Cousy – 7
Bob Cousy was a major contributor of the early part of Celtics Dynasty. He made seven consecutive trips to NBA finals from 1958 through 1963 and led his team to six championships. Bob Cousy spent almost its entire career with Boston Celtics. He ended his playing career in 1970 after having a brief stint with Cincinnati Royals.
Tom Sanders – 6
Tom “Satch” Sander is yet another player from Boston Celtics who made his way into this elusive list. Sanders played six straight finals with Celtics from 1961 through 1966 but overall he won 8 championships. In NBA history, only Bill Russell and Sam Jones have won more championships during their careers.
LeBron James – 6
LeBron James made his sixth consecutive NBA final appearance in May 2016, making him only the eighth player in league history to reach NBA final that many times in a row and also the first in 50 years.
LeBron James is very much in his prime and the streak is still alive.
James Jones – 6
James Jones is the only player other than LeBron James to make it to six NBA finals since the 1960s, four times with Miami Heat (2011 to 2014) and twice with Cleveland Cavaliers (2015-2016).
Bill Sharman – 5
Bill Sharman reached to five straight NBA finals and won four overall. Widely regarded as one of the greatest shooters of his era, Sharman was originally selected by Washington Capitals but traded to Boston Celtics and help build one of the greatest dynasties in NBA history.
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